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First ‘in womb’ stem cell trial to begin
BBC News

The first clinical trial injecting foetal stem cells into babies still in the womb has been announced. It is hoped the cells, which are able to transform into a range of tissues, will lessen symptoms of incurable brittle bone disease.

The trial, starting in January, will be led by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and in the UK by Great Ormond Street Hospital. The stem cells will come from terminated pregnancies.

Brittle bone disease, officially called osteogenesis imperfecta, affects around one in every 25,000 births. It can be fatal with babies born with multiple fractures. Even those who survive face up to 15 bone fractures a year, brittle teeth, impaired hearing and growth problems.

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